「元気でいたかな？ 我が弟よっ」 (Genkide Itakana? Waga Otoutoyo)
“How Have You Been My Brother?”
For all of us older siblings out there, I hope this episode resonated with you as much as it resonated with me.
For anyone who has watched anime for a while and/or has a general understanding of how Asian cultures view the eldest son, I’m sure you’ve experienced the “I must be the honorable son” plot point. If you’re looking for a recent example that strays ever-so-slightly away from the norm, I’d recommend taking a peek at Kimetsu no Yaiba’s Tanjiro and how he uses this mentality to psyche himself up in times of dire need.
In Fruits Basket’s case though, I was blown away with just how deep they went with their depiction of what we like to think is regret but is really the need to repent for your younger self. As someone who clearly understood just what it was like to be the older brother who didn’t want to treat my younger sibling with the kind of respect I’d extend to others, never have I felt such an intense searing in my chest as I listened to Ayame talk about his guilt. His guilt as a failure to be the guiding force in his Yuki’s life as well as the guilt of his inability to scale the rift that grew between him and his only brother. And as if that wasn’t emotional enough, I could barely contain my emotions when he dropped the realization that he doesn’t regret what he does, but rather wants to repent because of just how terrible those things were.
Luckily, in typical Fruits Basket’s fashion, Tohru knew just what to say to lighten the heavy air that was surrounding the two. Once again drawing on the knowledge that her beloved mom left with her, I was probably as appreciative as Ayame was when she told us that’s it’s okay. It’s okay to live with the past and never too late to try and rebuild the things that you may have mistakenly let erode away.
God, I love just how perfectly this show can hit on certain emotions by drawing on the experiences that we all have gone through. Something as simple as analyzing the dynamic between siblings can turn into a short moment where you can look back on your own past and apply what the show is trying to do for its characters.
Anyways, let me cut things off here before it gets too long. Overall, not a shabby episode even though we spent most it spending time with Aya both in the past and present. That and I’ll take any opportunity to watch Yuki grow up as a person, especially when it comes with an increase in his emotional intelligence (awareness?). In any case, I’ll catch you guys next week \o.